Joe Elliott says that DEF LEPPARD‘s 2001 biopic was “pretty piss poor.”
“Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story” was produced by VH1 and was described as “the true story of one of the most successful pop-metal bands of the ’80s.” Upon its release, it was described by Deseret News music editor Scott Iwasaki as a “lame” movie which reduced the DEF LEPPARD bandmembers to “one-dimensional caricatures.” Iwasaki added: “If the film weren’t based on a real band, I’d swear it was supposed to be the sequel to Rob Reiner‘s 1984 mockumentary ‘This Is Spinal Tap’.”
In 2014, Flavorwire called “Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story” “one of the most unintentionally funny biopics VH1 has ever put out,” saying it “features some terrible acting, awful special effects when it comes to [drummer] Rick Allen‘s car accident, and uneven pacing, ultimately resulting in something of a rock ‘n’ roll PSA.”
In a brand new interview with the Montreal Gazette, Elliott was asked if he was open to making a LEPPARD biopic in the style of QUEEN‘s mega-successful “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Elton John‘s “Rocketman”.
“Well, our biopic did tackle our story, but it was pretty piss poor,” he said. “It was made in 1999 before biopics were a craze. But I just don’t see it. Elton and QUEEN are so iconic, I would say before anyone tackles us again, if I was a film director or producer wanting to make a music biopic, I would go straight to LYNYRD SKYNYRD. That’s a story that needs to be told because of what they went though. Also, until there’s an incredible movie about THE [ROLLING] STONES or THE BEATLES or Chuck Berry, I think we’ll be on the back burner.”
Over a year ago, Elliott addressed the significant inaccuracies that appear in “Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story”, which was filmed in Canada, saying that much of it was out of the band’s control. “The road markings were all wrong,” he told Planet Rock. “I mean, the opening scene, I think, has got ‘Sheffield 1 mile, London 46.’ I was five-foot-eight in the film. I’m six-one. Phil [Collen, guitar] was Australian. Rick‘s mom was Irish. My parents had a dog — wrong. And my dad was bald. My dad watched it and he went, ‘I’ve got more bloody hair than that.’ I think they got Rick Savage [bass] pretty well; I thought that was pretty good. The very ending was not bad. But they didn’t really consult us much. I did script doctor it to a point, but then they would actually script doctor my script doctoring, because they wanted it to fit their budget and all this kind of stuff, so we kind of just went, ‘Whatever.'”
Elliott didn’t completely pan the film, explaining that DEF LEPPARD was pleasantly surprised to be the subject of a biopic at a time when biographical movies about bands were few and far between.
“Looking at the positive on it, if there is one, the fact that they actually made a film about us in 2000 is quite cool, because by then, there was no films on THE BEATLES, there was no films on THE [ROLLING] STONES, but they wanted to make one of us,” he said. “And when it got previewed on VH1, eight million people watched it on its first run. And strangely enough, it actually got pretty positive reviews. So, with hindsight, I think we should maybe go back and look at that again.”
DEF LEPPARD was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March — 14 years after the British rockers first became eligible.
The 34th annual ceremony took place at Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center and saw DEF LEPPARD inducted by QUEEN‘s Brian May.